IGNOU BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment 2022 Helpfirst

BHIC 108

RISE OF THE MODERN WEST II

BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022

Q. I. What do you understand by the seventeenth-century European crisis? Discuss the origins of the crisis.

Ans. The General Crisis is a term used by some historians to describe the period of widespread global conflict and instability that occurred from the early 17th century to the early 18th century in Europe and in more recent historiography in the world at large.

The term Were coined by Eric Hobsbawm in his pair of 1954 articles. “The Crisis of the 17th Century, published in Past and Present.

As a historiographic concept, the place of the general crisis was cemented by Hugh Trevor-Roper in a 1959 article entitled “The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century published in the same journal.

Hobsbawm discussed an economic crisis in Europe: Trevor-Roper saw a wider crisis. “a crisis in the relations between society and the State”.

Trevor-Roper argued that the middle years of the 17th century in Western Europe saw a widespread breakdown in politics, economics and society caused by a complex series of demographic, religious, economic and political problems.

In the “general crisis”, various events such as the English Civil War, the Fronde in France, the climax of the Thirty Years’ War in the Holy Roman Empire and revolts against the Spanish Crown in Portugal, Naples and Catalonia were all manifestations of the same problem. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

The most important cause of the general crisis”, in TrevorRoper’s opinion, was the conflict between “Court” and “Country”: that is between the increasingly powerful centralising, bureaucratic, sovereign princely states represented by the court, and the traditional, regional, land-based aristocracy and gentry representing the country.

He saw the intellectual and religious changes introduced by the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation as important secondary causes of the general crisis”.

There were various controversies regarding the “general crisis” thesis between historians. Some simply denied the existence of any such crisis.

For instance, Hobsbawm saw the problems of 17th-century Europe as being social and economic in origin, an emphasis that Trevor-Roper would not concede.

Instead, he theorised that the General Crisis’ was a crisis of state and society, precipitated by the expansion of bureaucratic offices in the Sixteenth century.

Many historians have argued the 17th century was an era of crisis. Today there are historians who promote the crisis model, arguing it provides an invaluable insight into the warfare, politics, economics, and even art of the seventeenth century.

The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) focused attention on the massive horrors that wars could bring to entire populations.

The 1640s in particular saw more state breakdowns around the world than any previous or subsequent period. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the largest state in Europe, temporarily disappeared. In addition, there were secessions and upheavals in several parts of the Spanish Empire.

In Britain there were rebellions in every part of the Stuart monarchy (Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Scotland, Kingdom of Ireland, and British America).

Political insurgency and a spate of popular revolts seldom shook the foundations of most states in Europe and Asia.

More wars took place around the world in the mid-17th century than in almost any other period of recorded history.

The crises spread far beyond Europe-for example Ming China, the most populous state in the world, collapsed.

China’s Ming dynasty and Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate had radically different economic, social, and political systems.

However, they experienced a series of crises during the mid-17th century that were at once interrelated and strikingly similar to those occurring in other parts of the world at the same time.

Frederic Wakeman argues that the crisis which destroyed the Ming dynasty was partly a result of the climatic change as well as China’s already significant involvement in the developing world economy.BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Bureaucratic dishonesty worsened the problem. Moreover, the Qing dynasty’s success in dealing with the ‘grisis made it more difficult for it to consider alternative responses when confronted with severe challenges from the West in the 19th century.

BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment
BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Q. 2. Write a note on the main ideas of Enlightenment in Europe.

Ans. The Enlightenment, a philosophical movement that dominated in Europe during the 18th century, was centered around the idea that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and advocated such ideals as liberty, progress, separation of church and stated

The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that dominated in Europe during the 18th century.

It was centered around the idea that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and it advocated such ideals as liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.

However, historians of race, gender, and class note that Enlightenment ideals were not originally envisioned as universal in today’s sense of the word.

The Philosophic Movement advocated for a society based upon reason rather than faith and Catholic doctrine, for a new civil order based on natural law, and for science based on experiments and observation.BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

There were two distinct lines of Enlightenment thought: the radical enlightenment, advocating democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression, and eradication of religious authority.

A second, more moderate variety sought accommodation between reform and the traditional systems of power and faith.

While the Enlightenment cannot be pigeonholed into a specific doctrine or set of dogmas, science came to play a leading role in Enlightenment discourse and thought.

The Enlightenment brought political modernization to the west, in terms of focusing on democratic values and institutions and the creation of modern, liberal democracies.

Enlightenment thinkers sought to curtail the political power of organized religion, and thereby prevent another age of intolerant religious war.

The radical Enlightenment promoted tils concept of separating church and state.
In the mid-18th century, Europe witnessed an explosion of philosophic and scientific activity that challenged traditional doctrines and dogmas.

The philosophic movement was led by Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who argued for a society based upon reason rather than faith and Catholic doctrine, for a new civil order based on natural law, and for science based on experiments and observation.

The political philosopher Montesquieu introduced the idea of a separation of powers in a government, a concept which was enthusiastically adopted by the authors of the United States Constitution. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

While the philosophers of the French Enlightenment were not revolutionaries, and many were members of the nobility, their ideas played an important part in undermining the legitimacy of the Old Regime and shaping the French Revolution.

There were two distinct lines of Enlightenment thought the radical enlightenment inspired by the philosophy of Spinoza, advocating democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression, and eradication of religious authority.

A second, more moderate variety, supported by René Descartes, John Locke, Christian Wolff, Isaac Newton and others, sought accommodation between reform and the traditional systems of power and faith.

Much of what is incorporated in the scientific method (the nature of knowledge, evidence, experience, and causation), and some modern attitudes towards the relationship between science and religion, were developed by David Hume and Adam Smith.

Hume became a major figure in the skeptical philosophical and empiricist traditions of philosophy.

Immanuel Kant tried to reconcile fationalismand religious belief individual freedom and political authority, as well as map out a view of the public sphere through private and public reason.

Kant’s work continued to shape German thought, and indeed all of European philosophy well into the 20th century.

Mary Wollstonecraft was one of England’s earlies feminist philosophers. She argued for society based on reason, and that women, as well as men, should be treated as rational beings. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Science during the Enlightenment was confinated by scientifie societies and academies, which had fargely replaced universities as centers of scientific research and development. Societies and academies were also the backbone of the maturation of the scientific profession.

Another important development was the popularization of science among an increasingly literate population.

Many scientific theories reached the wide public, notably through the Encyclopédie (a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772) and the popularization of Newtonianism.

The 18th century saw significant advancements in the practice of medicine, mathematics, and physics: the development of biological taxonomy: a new understanding of magnetism and electricity; and the maturation of chemistry as a discipline, which established the foundations of modern chemistry.

Enlightenment era religious commentary was a response to the preceding century of religious conflict in Europe.

Enlightenment thinkers sought to curtail the political power of organized religion, and thereby prevent another age of intolerant religious war.

A number of novel ideas developed, including Deism (belief in God the Creator, with no reference to the Bible or any other source) and atheism.

The latter was much discussed but there were few proponents, Wany, like Voltaire, held that without belief in a God who punishes evil, the moral order of society was undermined.

Assignment-ii

Q. 3. Describe the contributions of the natural philosophers in development of astronomy and physics in the 17th century.

Ans. Scientific Revolution, drastic change in scientific thought that took place during the 16th and 17th centuries. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

A new view of nature emerged during the Scientific Revolution, replacing the Greek view that had dominated science for almost 2.000 years.

Science became an autonomous discipline, distinct from both philosophy and technology, and it came to be regarded as having utilitarian goals.

By the end of this period, it may not be too much to say that science had replaced Christianity as the focal point of European civilization.

Out of the ferment of the Renaissance and Reformation, there arose a new view of science, bringing about the following transformations: the reeducation of common sense in favour of abstract reasoning:

the substitution of a quantitative for a qualitative view of nature; the view of nature as a machine rather than as an organism: the development of an experimental,

scientific method that sought definite answers to certain limited questions couched in the framework of specific theories; and the acceptance of new criteria for explanation, stressing the “how” rather than the “why” that had characterized the Aristotelian search for final causes.

The growing flood of information that resulted from the Scientific Revolution put heavy strains upon old institutions and practices. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

It was no longer sufficient to publish scientific results in an expensive book that few could buy: information had to be spread widely and rapidly.

Natural philosophers had to be sure of their data, and to that end they required independent and critical confirmation of their discoveries.

New means were created to accomplish these ends. beginning in italy in the early years of the 17th century and culminating in the two great national scientific societies that mark the zenith of the Scientific Revolution: the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. created by royal charter in 1662, and the Académie des Sciences of Paris, formed in 1666.

In these societies and others like them all over the world, natural philosophers could gather to examine, discuss, and criticize new discoveries and old theories.

To provide a firm basis for these discussions, societies began to publish scientific papers. The old practice of hiding new discoveries in private jargon, obscure language, or even anagrams gradually gave way to the ideal of universal comprehensibility.

New canons of reporting were devised so that experiments and discoveries could be reproduced by others.

This required new precision in language and a willingness to share experimental or observational methods. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

The failure of others to reproduce results cast serious doubts upon the original reports. Thus, were created the tools for a massive assault on nature’s secrets.

The Scientific Revolution began in astronomy. Although there had been earlier discussions of the possibility of Earth’s motion, the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was the first to propound a comprehensive heliocentric theory equal in scope and predictive capability to Ptolemy’s geocentric system.

Motivated by the desire to satisfy Plato’s dictum, Copernicus was led to overthrow traditional astronomy because of its alleged violation of the principle data as Ptolemy had possessed, Copernicus turned the world inside out, putting the Sun at the centre and setting Earth into motion around it. Copernicus’s theory, published in 1543.

possessed a qualitative simplicity that Ptolemaic astronomy appeared to lack. To achieve comparable levels of quantitative precision, however, the new system became just as complex as the old.

Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of Copernican astronomy lay in Copernicus’s attitude toward the reality of his theory. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

In contrast to Platonic instrumentalism. Copernicus asserted that to be satisfactory astronomy must describe the real, physical system of the world.

The battle for Copernicanism was fought in the realm of mechanics as well as astronomy. The Ptolemaic Aristotelian system stood or fell as a monolith, and it rested on the idea of earth’s fixity at the centre of the cosmos.

Removing Earth from the centre destroyed the doctrine of natural motion and place, and circular motion of Earth was incompatible with Aristotelian physics.

Galileo’s contributions to the science of mechanics were related directly to his defense of Copernicanism.

Although in his youth he adhered to the traditional impetus physics, his desire to mathematize in the manner of Archimedes led him to abandon the traditional approach and develop the foundations for a new physics that was both highly mathematizable and directly related to the problems facing the new cosmology.

Interested in finding the natural acceleration of falling bodies, he was able to derive the law of free fall (the distance, varies as the square of the time.).

Combining this result with his rudimentary form of the principle of inertia, he was able to derive the parabolic path of projectile motion.

Furthermore, his principle of inertia enabled him to meet the traditional physical objections to Earth’s motion: since a body in motion tends to remain in motion, projectiles and other objects on the terrestrial surface will tend to share the motions of Earth, which will thus be imperceptible to someone standing on Earth.

BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment
BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Q. 4. Discuss the role of colonial trade in the industrialization of Western Europe.

Ans. The global expansion of western Europe between the 1760s and the 1870s differed in several important ways from the expansiontism and cotónialist of previous centuries.

Along with the rise of the industrial Revolution, which economic historians generally trace to the 1760s, and the continuing spread of industrialization in the empire building countries came a shift in the strategy of trade with the colonial world.

Instead of being primarily buyers of colonial products and frequently under strain to often sufficient salable goods to balance the exchange), as in the past, the industrializing nations increasingly became sellers in search of markets for the growing volume of their machine-produced goods. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Furthermore, over the years there occurred a decided shift in the composition of demand for goods produced in the colonial areas.

Spices, sugar, and slaves became relatively less important with the advance of industrialization, concomitant with a rising demand for raw materials for industry (e.g.. cotton, wool, vegetable oils, jute, dyestuffs) and food for the swelling industrial areas (wheat, tea, coffee, cocoa, meat, butter).

This shift in trading patterns entailed in the long run changes in colonial policy and practice as well as in the nature of colonial acquisitions.

The urgency to create markets and the incessant pressure for new materials and food were eventually reflected in colonial practices, which sought to adapt the colonial areas to the new priorities of the industrializing nations.

Such adaptation involved major disruptions of existing social systems over wide areas of the applying superior military strength to achieve the transfer to European merchants of as much existing world trade as was feasible.

However disruptive these changes may have been to the societies of Africa, South America, and the isolated plantation and white-settler colonies, the social systems over most of the Earth outside Europe nevertheless remained much the same as they had been for centuries in some places for millennia). BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

These societies, with their largely self-sufficient small communities based on subsistence agriculture and home industry, provided poor markets for the mass-produced goods flowing from the factories of the technologically advancing countries, nor were the existing social systems flexible enough to introduce and rapidly expand the commercial agriculture (and, later, mineral extraction) required to supply the food and raw material needs of the empire builders.

The adaptation of the nonindustrialized parts of the world to become more profitable adjuncts of the industrializing nations embraced, among other things:

(i) overhaul of existing land and property arrangements, including the introduction of private property in land where it did not previously exist, as well as the expropriation of land for use by white settlers or for plantation agriculture;

(ii) creation of a labou supply for commercial agriculture and mining by means of direct forced labour and indirect measures aimed at generating a body of wage-seeking labourers:

(iii) spread of the use of money and exchange of commodities by imposing money payments for taxes and land rent and by inducing a decline of home industry, and

(iv) where the precolonial society already had a developed industry, curtailment of production and exports by native producers.

Q. 5. Write a note on Oliver Cromwell and his role in English Revolution.

Ans. The only non-royal to rule the country, Oliver Cromwell remains one of the most controversial figures in British history. To some, he’s the father of democracy and a hero of the common man. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Born in Huntingdon. Cambridgeshire, on 25 April, 1599, Cromwell was a gentleman of limited means.

Little is known about his early life until a modest inheritance and a religious conversion aransformed his circumstances.

He stood for Parliament for Huntington in 1628 and later Canıbridge in 1646 (his former home in nearby-Ely is open to the public today as Oliver Cromwell’s House).

However, he wasn’t significantly involved in national politics until the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642.

Cromwell sided with the Roundheads and soon became a principal commander of the New Model Army.

His role in the 1644 Battle of Marston Moor was crucial to victory. He was no great tactician. Instead, success stemmed from his ability to instil self-belief in his men and share his conviction that God was willing them to win.

He wasn’t at first, completely against the monarchy. However, after placing King Charles I under house arrest, they failed to agree a settlement.

The king escaped Roundheads’ custody, sparking a second civil war in 1648.

In 1649. Cromwell was a signatory to Charles’s death warrant and went on to defeat the claimant to the throne. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Charles II, at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September, 1651. Charles II fled to mainland Europe as Cromwell returned triumphantly to London.

In 1653 he dismissed the “Rump’ parliament by military force in a bid to establish his parliament of saints, but was then invited to rule as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth.

Cromwell was even offered the crown itself, which he refused.

Although during his five-year rule the country was a de facto republic, he claimed monarchic prerogatives, including choosing his inexperienced son Richard as his successor.

Assignment-III

Q. 1. Reformation and Counter-Reformation

Ans. In a sense, the Reformation was a protest against the secular values of the Renaissance. No Italian despots better represented the profligacy, the materialism, and the intellectual hedonism that accompanied these values than did the three Renaissance popes, Alexander VI, Julius II. and Leo X.

Among those precursors of the reformers who were conscious of the betrayal of Christian ideals were figures so diverse as the Ferraran monk Savonarola, the Spanish statesman Cardinal Jiménez, and the humanist scholar Erasmus.

The corruption of the religious orders and the cynical abuse of the fiscal machinery of the church provoked a movement that at first demanded reform from within and ultimately chose the path of separation. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

When the Augustinian monk Martin Luther protested against the sale of indulgences in 1517, he found himself obliged to extend his doctrinal arguments until his stand led him to deny the authority of the pope.

In the past, as in the controversies between pope and emperor, such challenges had resulted in mere temporary disunity.

In the age of nation-states, the political implications of the dispute resulted in the irreparable fragmentation of clerical authority.

Luther had chosen to attack a lucrative source of papal revenue, and his intractable spirit obliged Leo X to excommunicate him.

The problem became of as much concern to the emperor as it was to the pope, for Luther’s eloquent writings evoked a wave of enthusiasm throughout Germany.

The reformer was by instinct a social conservative and supported existing secular authority against the upthrust of the lower orders. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Although the Diet of Worms accepted the ex-communication in 1521. Luther found protection among the princes,

In 1529 the rulers of electoral Saxony, Brandenburg, Hessen, Lüneberg, anchenhalt signed the protest against an attempt to enforée obedience.

By this time, Charles V had resolved to suppress Protestantism and to abandon conciliation. The sack of Rome proved a turning point both for the emperor and the humanist movement that he had patronized.

The humanist scholars were dispersed, and the initiative for reform then lay in the hands of the more violent and uncompromising party.

Charles V himself experienced a revulsion of conscience that placed him at the head of the Roman Catholic reaction.

The empire he ruled in name was now divided into hostile camps.

The Catholic princes of Germany had discussed measures for joint action at Regensburg in 1524; in 1530 the Protestants formed a defensive league at Schmalkalden. Reconciliation was attempted in 1541 and 1548, but the German rift could no longer be healed.

Lutheranism laid its emphasis doctrinally on justification by faith and politically on the God-given powers of the secular ruler.BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Other Protestants reached different conclusions and diverged widely from one another in their interpretation of the sacraments.

In Geneva. Calvinism enforced a stern moral code and preached the mystery of grace with predestinarian conviction.

It proclaimed the separation of church and state, but in practice its organization tended to produce a type of theocracy.

Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger in Zürich taught a theology not unlike Calvin’s but preferred to see government in terms of the godly magistrate.

On the left wing of these movements were the Anabaptists, whose pacifism and mystic detachment were paradoxically associated with violent upheavals.

Lutheranism established itself in northern Germany and Scandinavia and for a time exercised a wide influence both in eastern Europe and in the west.

Where it was not officially adopted by the ruling prince, however, the more militant Calvinist faith tended to take its place.BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Salvinism spread northward from the upper Rhine and established itself firmly in Scotland and in southern and western France.

Friction between Rome and nationalist tendencies within the Catholic church facilitated the spread of Protestantism.

In France the Gallican church was traditionally nationalist and antipapal in outlook, while in England the Reformation in its early stages took the form of the preservation of Catholic doctrine and the denial of papal jurisdiction.

After periods of Calvinist and then of Roman Catholic reaction, the Church of England achieved a measure of stability with the Elizabethan religious settlement.

In the years between the papal confirmation of the Jesuit order in 1540 and the formal dissolution of the Council of Trent in 1563.BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

the Roman Catholic church responded to the Protestant challenge by purging itself of the abuses and ambiguities that had opened the way to revolt.

Thus prepared, the Counter-Reformation embarked upon recovery of the schismatic branches of Western Christianity. Foremost in this crusade were the Jesuits, established as a welleducated and disciplined arm of the papacy by Ignatius Loyola.

Their work was made easier by the Council of Trent, which did not like earlier councils, result in the diminution of papal authority.

The council condemned such abuses as pluralism, affirmed the traditional practice in questions of clerical marriage and the use of the Bible, and clarified doctrine on issues such as the nature of the Eucharist, divine grace, and justification by faith.

The church thus made it clear that it was not prepared to compromise and with the aid of the acquisition and thermafetal resources of the Habsburgs, it set out to reestablish its universal authority.

It was of vital importance to this task that the popes of the Counter-Reformation were mengisineere conviction and initiative who skillfully employed diplomacy, persuasion. and force against heresy. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

In Italy, Spain, Bavaria, Austria, Bohemia, Poland, and the southern Netherlands (the future Belgium), Protestant influence was destroyed.

Q. 2. Proto-industrialization in Early Modern Europe

Ans. Proto-industrialization is the regional development, alongside commercial agriculture, of rural handicraft production for external markets.

Them was introduced in the early 1970s by economic historians who argued that such developments in parts of Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries created the social and economic conditions that led to the Industrial Revolution.

Later researchers suggested that similar conditions had arisen in other parts of the world.

Proto-industrialization is also a term for a specific theory about proto-industries’ role in the emergence of the Industrial Revolution. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Aspects of the proto-industrialization theory have been challenged by other historians.

Critics of the idea of proto-industrialization are not necessarily critics of the idea of proto-industries having existed prominently or having played a role as social and economic factors.

Criticism of the theory has taken various forms – that protoindustries were important and widespread but not the main factor transitioning to industrial capitalism, that protoindustries were not distinct enough from other types of pre-industrial manufacturing or agrarian handicrafts to formulate a wider phenomenon, or that proto-industrialisation is actually industrialisation.

Q. 3. Mercantilism

Ans. Mercantihim was an economic system of trade that spanned from the 16th century to the 18th century.

Mercantilism was based on the idea that a nation’s wealth and power were best served by increasing exports and so involved increasing trade.

Under mercantilism, nations frequently engaged their military might to ensure local markets and supply sources were protected, to support the idea that a nation’s economic health heavily relied on its supply of capital.BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

Mercantilism replaced the feudal economic system in Western Europe. At the time, England was the epicenter of the British Empire but had relatively few natural resources.

To grow its wealth, England introduced fiscal policies that discouraged colonists from buying foreign products, while creating incentives to only buy British goods.

For example, the Sugar Act of 1764 raised duties on foreign refined sugar and molasses imported by the colonies, in an effort to give British sugar growers in the West Indies a monopoly on the colonial market.

Q. 4. Nature of Colonization in America

Ans. The European colonization of the Americas was the process by which European settlers populated the regions of North Central, South America, and the islands of the Caribbean.

It is also recognized as the direct cause for the cultures of the various indigenous people of those regions being replaced and often eradicated.

The process of colonization developed fairly quickly between 1492-1620, with others arriving in larger numbers between c. 1620 c. 1720, and still others afterward up through the early 20th century. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

As more Europeans arrived, more land was required by them, steadily forcing Native Americans onto reservations as the immigrants enlarged their settlements.

The first European Community in North Amerie was established ! 980 e. 1030 by the Norse Viking Leif Erikson (b.c. 970 – c. 980) in Newfoundland at the site known today as L’Anse aux Meadows.

This settlement was temporary, however, and the Norse left to return to Greenland after a little over a year inspiring no further expeditions to the site.

Although Norse artifacts have been found along the east coast of North America – suggesting further explorations – this has not been established as evidence of a widespread Norse presence in the Americas.

Q. 5. Rationalism

Ans. Rationalism, or a belief that we come to knowledge through the use of logic, and thus independently of sensory experience, was critical to the debates of the Enlightenment period, BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

when most philosophers lauded the power of reason but insisted that knowledge comes from experience.

Rationalism as an appeal to human reason as a way of obtaining knowledge-has a philosophical history dating from antiquity.

While rationalism did not dominate the Enlightenment, it laid critical basis for the debates that developed over the course of the 18th century.

Rationalism-as an appeal to human reason as a way of obtaining knowledge-has a philosophical history dating from antiquity.

While rationalism, as the view that reason is the main source of knowledge, did not dominate the Enlightenment, it laid critical basis for the debates that developed over the course of the 18th century. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

As the Enlightenment centered on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy, many philosophers of the period drew from earlier philosophical contributions, most notably those of René Descartes (1596-1650), a French philosopher, mathematician and scientist.

Descartes was the first of the modern rationalists. He thought that only knowledge of eternal truths (including the truths of mathematics and the foundations of the sciences) could be attained by reason alone, while the knowledge of physics required experience of the world, aided by the scientific method.

He argued that reason alone determined knowledge, and that this could be done independently of the senses.

For instance, his famous dictum, cogergo sum, or “I think, therefore I am.” is a conclusion reached a priori (i.e., prior to any kind of experience on the matter).

The simple meaning is that doubting one’s existence, in and of itself, proves that an “T” exists to do the thinking. BHIC 108 Free Solved Assignment

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